Clearance racks are full with end of season sales. You might not find your size, but my bet is you will trudge around a mall at least once this month. You might have something you need in mind, or you might just be looking for that one little item that catches your eye.
In some circles, clothing is very important. Women compare themselves with the other ladies they know—even in churches. I hear phrases like:
- “Oh what cute earrings! Where on earth did you find them?”
- “Don’t you just love Maggie’s new boots? She got them at __________. They were on sale for only $123.”
- “I need a new black _________________.”
- “Oh, that jumper looks tacky! Don’t you just know she had that for the last twenty years!”
- “I’m so embarrassed! I think I wore this skirt to church last Sunday.”
Forgive me while I chuckle. You see, I’ve lived overseas for so many years that I’ve acquired a totally different philosophy about dress. Here, frankly, if you wore the same nice outfit every day of the week—clean, mind you—no one would even bat an eye. The people I associate with look nice, but they don’t necessarily think they need anything. And, we rarely talk about clothing.
Now, it’s not wrong to wear clothes, and it’s not bad to go shopping. It’s good stewardship to wait for sales and shop carefully. It’s especially pleasing to God when Christian women look for and buy modest, beautiful clothes.
Read this Bible passage, and think about clothing choices:
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:25-33).
The first phrase that hits me is Take no thought. Does that mean we’re not to think about clothing at all? In the Greek, this word thought has the connotation of being anxious about, being worried or troubled about. So, this doesn’t mean we don’t care about clothes. It means we don’t get worried and anxious about our clothing. It’s about an inordinate concern with clothing.
Then, Jesus gives an illustration that almost blows my mind. He talks about how God clothes the lilies of the field. Have you ever seen a wild lily? They are absolutely gorgeous! They have a texture and color that is beyond belief. That’s how God clothes a plant!
The Bible says that Solomon—arguably one of the richest men of all time—didn’t have clothes that compared to the beauty of a wild lily.
Then Jesus says something totally amazing: Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
In this passage, just like we trust the Lord for food and drink, we trust God for clothing. I love the conclusion: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. God is sovereign. He absolutely knows our needs and delights in supplying them. He is a Good Father.
What is the condition for our needs being met? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Seek the kingdom of God first. I wonder if we spent as much time, energy, and thought into our spirit—on personal holiness—as we put in planning our clothing, what kind of Christians would we be? If our conversation was filled with blessing, spiritual encouragement, and sharing God with others instead of statements like, “I love your purse!” I wonder what God would supply. If we quit coveting what we see on Pinterest, being worn by our friends, or in the exclusive store, and we worked more on our souls, spending more time in fervent prayer, and thinking more about how we could help others, maybe we would be seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And I think the Lord would help us to get clothing that is beautiful and honors Him, don’t you?
Lessons from Matthew 6:25-33:
- We’re not to worry about clothes.
- God can clothe us and do it beautifully.
- God already knows our needs.
- Put God’s kingdom first.
- Trust God to meet our